Out in the cold? The experiences of foreign national prisoners in Iceland's open prisons

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Foreign national prisoners form a major constituency in prison populations in many Western European countries (for recent a statistical report see Aebi et al. (2019); for the most recent raw data see Space I data collected by the Council of Europe on an annual basis (Council of Europe 2023). Foreign national prisoners have increasingly been the subject of scholarly interest (e.g., Van Kalmthout, Hofstee-Van Kalmthout et al., 2013; Kaufman, 2015; Ugelvik, 2017a) although the UK's Inspectorate of Prisons already produced a report as early as 2006 (HMIP, 2006). There is little doubt that foreign national prisoners are at increased risk of suffering. This is on the one hand to do with their specific circumstances. They may face disadvantages in terms of language, culture, religion and support. In addition, they may face issues that are specific to their legal position or citizenship or lack thereof. Foreign national prisoners may be subject to policies focused on incarceration, isolation and deportation, rather than oriented towards rehabilitation and resettlement, and may therefore experience both more austere conditions and harsher treatment as well as more uncertainty as to their legal status and their future.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100626
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Law, Crime and Justice
Early online date8 Sept 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2023

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